If your child is afraid of the dentist, getting them to go to their regular checkups can be like pulling teeth. Once a child has a fear, it is very hard to ease them out of it. Luckily, there are several ways you can start the process of easing their concerns before the next appointment. Once you schedule your child's regular appointment to visit the dentist, you can start taking necessary steps in easing their fear in order to ensure their next visit goes smoothly.
Playing with your child is the best way to get them to talk or learn about anything. If your child enjoys playing dolls or loves to play pretend, take the time to role play with them. Suggest playing dentist, and take turns being the dentist and the patient. When you are the dentist, try different techniques of calming their fears. Ask them to lay down on the couch and pretend to look at their teeth, searching for cavities. When you are the patient, show them that they do not have to be afraid to get in the dentist chair. You can also show them how brave you are by not crying when going into the dentist's office.
Don't Use The "H" Word
Trying to ease your child's fears by saying "It won't hurt" may seem like a good idea, but it can be very damaging to your cause. Though you are only trying to be helpful, your child is likely to only hear the word "hurt" or "pain" and will become very scared. Avoid using any negative words that your child can misunderstand. Instead, sound excited about going to the dentist's office. Engage your child in friendly and uplifting conversation. Ask them questions about what books they are going to read in the waiting room or what television show they hope will be playing while they are waiting to be seen. This will get your child to open up and will get their mind off of fear of being seen.
Keep Them Comfortable
Taking their favorite doll with them to their appointment may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is important to them. Let them take something from home with them that will put them at ease. Giving them something that reminds them of home will give them something tangible that they are familiar with. The dentist's office is a strange and scary place for some children, so having something from home will make a world of difference.
Don't wait until the last minute to plan how you are going to get your child into the dentist's chair. Dental appointments are a sensitive subject for some children and needed to be treated as such. Taking the necessary steps to easing your child's fear of the dentist beforehand will ensure a smoother and less stressful visit.Share